14 April, 2011

A New Zealand Poem for your Pocket!

In the US of A, it is Poetry Month right now. And today, is Poem in your Pocket Day. Click on the link to find out more, but int he meantime, here is the little poem that inspires "Poem in your Pocket Day."

by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.

The little poem poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you're in bed


Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed

Here's a couple of little poems from a newly discovered(by me) New Zealand writer, Susan Dassler:

History Lessons

Of Great King Alfred this I learnt,
How carelessly some cakes he burnt,
Then William One arrived at Dover,
He brought us all ancestors over.
Charles the First, so I have read,
Became so vain he lost his head.
Elizabeth had golden tresses
And sported quite a thousand dresses.
Raleigh, traveller of note,
Spread in the mud his velvet coat.
Henry of the ample waist
In wives had quite a varied taste.
Bruce of Scotland saw a spider
(Had he been drinking ale or cider?)
Victoria was "Not amused"
To smile she steadfastly refused.
Of historical facts these are all I remember
Except we burn Guy Fawkes on the fifth of November.*

And here's another with a New Zealand flavour, that I just must share:

Love in a Shanty

Ere they were wed, he boldly said, he'd very little money.
Love in a cot would be their lot, with roses, cream and honey.
She didn't know the cottage would be just a lean-to shanty.
She didn't know the rations would at times be rather scanty.
She didn't know the cottage would hav eneither bath nor tub.
She didn't know the roses would be just manuka scrub.
She didn't know the cottage had a rough and splintry floor
She didn't know the chickens would be roosting round the door.
She didn't know the fences were all tumbledown and broken.
She didn't know the mortgagee had half the cheques bespoken.
She didn't know the bees would yield her nothing but a sting.
Of cows and mudand morgages she didn't know a thing,
But if she had known all these thing, 'twould just have been the same.
She didn't pine for comfort, nor for riches, nor for fame.
They're just a simple, loving pair, they're neither rich nor clever.
And though the shanty's crumbling fast, their love's as strong as ever.

~ from "From a Pioneer's Pen..." by Susan Dassler.

Susan Dassler married her love, Oscar, in 1806. The moved to a block of land deep in the bush of the King Country at Te Raumoa. The little book put together by her daughter, Grace Shaw contains many of her poems and anecdotes about life growing up in the bush hut, and subsequent years with her eight children, 44 grandchildren, and 99 great-grandchildren! At the time of publication, in 1988, Susan was still going strong at 95 years old. I am trying to find out more, but information is hard to come by.


For more "Poem in your Pocket Day" fun, see Barb's post here and Nadene's post here.

* This poem reminds me of one my daughter, Emily, wrote here.


Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

I have just read your post about Susan Dassler.
Susan was my grandmother. She would be so pleased that you used her poems!
Linda Bishop

rachaelnz said...

Hi Linda,
Thanks so much for your comment, I'm excited to hear from one of Susan's grandchildren! My Mum had a booklet of her poems that I discovered one day, and I just love it. Being homeschoolers, we are always on the lookout for good NZ poetry. I love all the history in them too!

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